Fine tuning of the Navis N4 Expert Decking Module, the system which automates yard planning, has resulted in major efficiencies in yard and quay operations at APM Terminals’ Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), the company reports.
The system is used to automate planning by distributing containers throughout the yard based on predefined rules. Typically, yard planning is extremely time-consuming, costly and inaccurate. The Navis system aims to optimise the storage of containers in the most efficient manner, leaving more time for users to manage the yard.
For the recent upgrade project at SCCT, staff focused on dwell times for transshipment containers. Each container was examined, the dwell time assessed, and a class was then assigned. Containers with shorter dwell times were assigned a yard lane closer to the berth.
According to SCCT, this approach resulted in quay cranes being utilised more efficiently and trucks travelling shorter distances. Savings in equipment running costs, maintenance and repair, and staffing were also achieved. Following piloting and testing, it was then rolled out across the yard over a 20-week period.
The efficiencies achieved by SCCT are the latest in a series of continuous improvements at the Egyptian terminal, which has now become a training hub for the global terminal operating group. A group of nine staff member APM Terminals’ new Moin Container Terminal in Costa Rica and four from its MedPort Tangier Terminal recently travelled to Egypt to attend operational and technical training programs. The training enabled SCCT to share some of the best practices it has established.